You can extend your learning by completing any of the activities below.
You may be asked to give an impromptu speech someday. Improptu speeches are speeches that you don't prepare for. You don't research to give them. You think of what to say and say it in the moment. These often happen at events like weddings or in every day life.
You might give an impromptu speech as an elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is what you would say if a stranger in an elevator asked what your product or business is. You would then have the short time before the person got off the elevator to pitch or tell that person about your idea or product. The goal would be to interest the other person in your product or business.
If you are planning to go to graduate school or do research, you may also need to be able to say what your thesis or research is about very quickly. You might be talking with a stranger in an elevator or a new contact at a conference, and they will ask about the research you are doing. You will need to be able to tell them breifly about your ideas in a well articulated way.
Directions: For this activity, pretend you are on an elevator. You have 30 seconds to introduce yourself and tell the other person on the elevator about your idea(s) on a topic.
Make two lines facing each other. One line will be the audience and the other will be the speaker. Take turns giving your elevator pitches on the topic the teacher gives you. You will have to think quickly to introduce yourself and pitch your idea in 30 seconds. After you pitch your partner "leaves the elevator", you can switch roles, so that the speaker becomes the audience and the audience becomes the speaker.
Your teacher may have you repeat this activity with different partners.
- New Technology
- Atomic Energy or Energy Alternatives
- Climate Change
- Food Scarcity
- Ending Poverty
- Improving Health
Groups such as the United Nations frequently meet at conventions on specific topics to discuss issues that affect people around the world. At such conferences, speakers may inform other attendees about issues or call them to action to address an issue. If the attendees agree to act on one of these calls to action, they may resolve to do something to address the issue.
Directions: Create a "Class Convention on ________" with your classmates to address a local or global topic. The topic will be a local or global issue selected by the teacher or class. Work with a group of 3-4 classmates to research an issue related to that topic. Prepare with your group to present an informational and persuasive speech that is no more the 15 minutes long, the recommended time limit for U.N. delegates to speak.
On convention day, each group will present their topic for consideration. After a representative from your group has given the speech you prepared, the floor will then be opened for discussion. Your class will then discuss the issue. After all the groups have presented and discussions are finished, create a resolution to address the issues presented. What will you pledge to do?
Many speeches are made in response to important issues or events of the time. Some of the most famous speeches that have been made are not only famous because of the elegance or beauty of their words but the impact they had on the world.
Directions: With a group choose a significant historical event or movement. Find a speech given during the event or movement. Each member of the group should find a speech individually and the speeches that you choose should not overlap with each other (I.e. Only one student from the American Civil War group could do the Gettysburg Address.)
With your group, research the event or movement so that you are familiar with the context of the speeches chosen. Create a report on your historical event or movement and how the speech you chose impacted it. Share your report with your group and with other groups in class.
Bonus: Practice delivering all or part of the speech you chose. Include a recitation of your speech when you share your report with your classmates.
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